This last year has been a difficult transition for me, going from two littles, to three. Just as I was getting used to two, a third came along, and challenged me in a whole new way. My youngest is almost a year now, and I’m finally beginning to feel a little more myself, and like I have things somewhat under control. I use the term loosely, because while things are still challenging, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m feeling a little more knowledgeable in my parenting skills, and abilities (or lack thereof, lol).
I’ve realized–especially after reading “No Better Mom for the Job” by Becky Keife–I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants mom. I prefer parks with fences; and carrying the baby in a carrier, so I have two free hands for other things like chasing/grabbing my toddler, pushing the girls on the swing, helping them use the toilet, and getting them in/out of a pushcart. I plan outings around nursing, meals, naps, and bed times; and I plan meals and snacks in advance, so that I’m not scratching my head every couple hours, with a trio of crying hungry kids at my heels. And if I expect to have a real conversation with someone, it’s not going to happen with my kids running around.
Motherhood seems to come easy to some, but not to me. I’m challenged daily, by my children. I love them and love to teach and disciple them, but I’m an introvert blessed with three very needy and rowdy children. Hence, the reason it’s been such a long time in between my posts. I’m exhausted by the end of the day; and while I go to bed pretty early, I still have to drag myself out of bed most mornings. The best time for me to study the Word, pray, and journal is when I plug in my headphones and ignore the kids for an hour in the afternoon, (lol, I do keep my eyes on them from the dining room, in case you’re worried). So, if you think that the only time to study the Word with kids in the house, is early in the morning before they wake up, and you’re not a morning person, don’t let that stop you.
Regardless of how challenging motherhood can be, I wouldn’t change it. My children are a gift. A gift that, quite frankly, I don’t deserve. I think we’ve discussed this before, but God uses my children to grow me into the person He desires me to be. My children challenge my selfish nature, they teach me patience, endurance, gentleness, self-control (daily, I might add, lol). They teach me to show forgiveness, and to ask for forgiveness, when I fall short. They remind me constantly of the importance of knowing, learning, and being transformed by the Word, because they ask all the questions, and watch the hubby and I closely, every day.
The world says that children aren’t worth all the trouble, that they prevent us from reaching our full potential, goals and dreams. The Word says that children are a heritage (Psalm 127:3-5). I had to look that word up, it means an inheritance; in other words, they are valuable. And I’d even go so far as to say that my children will help me reach my full God-given potential. God designed my children specifically for me, and me for them; it’s symbiotic. We shape each other.
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the LORD tests hearts.Proverbs 17:3, NASB
Parenting is a refining process. All our impurities come to the surface in the fire that is parenthood, and our shortcomings and flaws are on display for those closest to us to see, and then they’re often reflected back to us in our children. 😳 I can’t tell you how often I find myself face to face with my own sin–pride, selfishness, jealousy, etc.–being reflected back at me in the face of my child. It’s here, especially, that I’m forced to throw up my hands in surrender, and cry out, “I can’t” or “I don’t know what I’m doing!…God, help me! Forgive me. You have all the answers. Please give me wisdom and direction.”
That’s not to say that if you don’t have children, you can’t be shaped into the man or woman God wants you to be. God will mold and shape you in other ways, but for me, in this season, this is where He has me. This is how the Potter’s shaping me more and more into His image. What, in your life or circumstances, is God using to mold you, these days? What has He been revealing to you?
But now, O LORD, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.Isaiah 64:8, ESV